Trinity Providing Institutional Leadership for Hartford’s ‘Innovation Places’ Project

New Grant to Support Development of Plan to Encourage Entrepreneurship in Hartford


Hartford, Connecticut, November 4, 2016 – Trinity College is among the institutions in Hartford that are providing leadership in the city’s efforts to jump-start the local innovation economy. Connecticut state Sen. John Fonfara (D-Hartford) recently announced that the Hartford Innovation Places team has received a $50,000 grant from the CTNext Program to be used in the development of a strategic master plan and implementation grant request.

According to a press release from Fonfara’s office, “Innovation Places will serve as communities where young entrepreneurs can begin a business in an affordable location with co-working opportunities and nearby assets needed for growth. Locations like these are being created around Connecticut as the result of a comprehensive law designed by Senator Fonfara to help Connecticut embrace the innovation economy.”

“I believe that our economic future is in embracing the innovation economy, which Hartford has already begun to do,” said Fonfara. “Local officials, business leaders and educators have come together, some for the first time, to begin the process of creating ‘Innovation Places’ in Hartford. This grant will allow us to move forward toward a goal of connecting Connecticut’s bright, young minds with experienced entrepreneurs who will help them turn innovative ideas into new, growing businesses. Startup companies like these generate more jobs and economic growth than large businesses. That’s what we need here in Hartford and throughout our state and these grants will help get us there.”

Michelle Cote, managing director of the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University Of Connecticut School of Business, said, “It has been a pleasure to engage a truly diverse group of stakeholders in this effort so far. We have benefitted from institutional leadership from the University of Hartford, Trinity College, and the University of Connecticut, as well as Hartford Hospital, MetroHartford Alliance, reSET, and the City of Hartford and Town of East Hartford. A number of the region’s established and emerging entrepreneurs have also been actively involved, which will be key to our ability to continue to make progress.”

Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said, “Trinity committed to this initiative because it is one way that we can leverage our human and intellectual capital to support moving our neighborhood and city forward. Our goal is to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem which leads to economic development in Hartford that results in overall business development as well as opportunities for our students and graduates. The College is deeply committed on the institutional level, as well as through the efforts of Trinity alumni who are local entrepreneurs and city leaders involved in the effort.”